If there’s one thing that can be regarded as deep and wide as the ocean, it’s the internet. While the convenience it brought in making things available in just a click and bringing information that’s readily accessible at any time of the day is undeniable, what’s invisible to the naked eye are the dangers and risks that lurk in every single click and scroll. What some might think is harmless can be taken as an advantage to steal personal information.
But as an old saying goes, an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure. The simplest way of not letting the ‘bad guys’ use your online activities to get their hands on sensitive data starts with you. Here are easy reminders on how to make sure that proper cyber hygiene is in check.
- Avoid mindlessly clicking on links.
Now that almost everything can be done using smartphones, it has become easier for cybercriminals to attract people to get on to malicious links. Avoid mindlessly clicking on links especially those that are sent out of the blue, or are from unknown sources. It helps to install applications or software that can automatically detect and warn users about suspicious links. Always check if the URL is legit by reading it thoroughly. Secured domain names often have proper suffixes like .org, .edu., .gov, and the likes.
- Limit connecting to free, public WiFi.
Not everyone can afford to have their own WiFi connection at home, that’s why a lot of people are enticed to connect to public WiFi hotspots instead. The danger in this lies on the thin security that free WiFi connections have, plus the number of devices connected to the network at the same time make it a magnet to cybercriminals. It’s alright to use public WiFi connections at times but be wary of logging in sensitive information and opening important apps like those that are for banking.
- Download apps and files ONLY from verified sources.
Applications installed in the phone require specific permission like access to contacts, storage, and location, for them to properly work. Sideloaded apps, or those that are from unverified sources might steal crucial personal information. Avoid being a victim of this by downloading only from trusted sources like the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store.
- Use strong, complicated passwords.
Utilizing weak passwords is almost like giving hackers easy access to your personal accounts. There’s a reason why some websites require at least an eight-character password with a combination of small and capital letters, numbers, and symbols, because this way, cybercriminals will have a hard time cracking them. Apart from this, remember to never use the same password twice, or more importantly, don’t use just one password across all applications that contain important information.
- Update apps and mobile software regularly.
The next time you hit that ‘remind me again’ button when a software update prompts on your phone, think again. Some updates take too much time and internet consumption before it gets done, but these are important because they often carry new and useful security features for smartphones. The same goes for applications. It’s better to turn on the ‘update automatically’ option so you wouldn’t miss any important development on your phone’s software and on the apps that you use.
In the fast-paced digital age we live in, vigilance is key. Since everyone’s online safety and security is a big deal than how it seems to many, the government and some private groups have been actively raising awareness about this. In fact, in the global scene, there’s a celebration dubbed as the Safer Internet Day, which aims to start a conversation on making the internet a safer environment for everyone by addressing issues that affect the security of online users.
Joining the call in making the internet a safer space, Globe Telecom continues to strengthen its #makeITsafePH campaign, an initiative it started in 2017 which targets to educate the public, especially the young digital natives who are often exposed to a myriad of issues such as identity theft and cyberbullying.
Globe currently spearheads the Digital Thumbprint Program (DTP), a series of workshops designed to increase students’ knowledge of digital citizenship and cybersafety by taking a critical look at their online behavior and helping them develop insights into the influences of the online world and the choices they are making. The Department of Education has also adopted DTP and is working towards its integration in the K-to-12 curriculum.
Know more about this through https://www.globe.com.ph/about-us/sustainability/digital-nation/digital-thumbprint.html.